defense

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a good defense is the best offense

The best way to give oneself the opportunity to succeed is to secure oneself against risk, danger, or one's opponents. An inversion of the standard phrase "the best defense is a good offense." They have a lot of scoring power, so we need to stay strong on our side of the court and wear them out. A good defense is the best offense, girls. Succeeding in the stock market takes prudence, careful planning, and plenty of risk management. As they say, a good defense is the best offense. That team definitely believes that a good defense is the best offense—they don't have a ton of scorers, but they have a solid enough defense to win close games.
See also: best, defense, good, offense

a good offense is the best defense

The best way to protect oneself is to proactively attack one's opponents or enemies. They will then be too occupied with defending themselves to stage an attack of their own. They have a lot of scoring power, so we need to attack the goal early and wear them out. A good offense is the best defense. I've always believed that a good offense is the best defense. We'll only be able to secure our borders if we are quick to eradicate any nearby threats with as much force as possible. With how much our first line has been scoring, I knew we could easily dominate the other team. A good defense is the best offense, right?
See also: best, defense, good, offense

attack is the best form of defense

Launching an offensive is the best way to protect oneself. I need to start some rumors about Dean, before he comes after me. I know it sounds harsh, but attack is the best form of defense!
See also: attack, best, defense, form, of

last-ditch defense

A final, desperate effort to save or protect something or to avoid failure or defeat. The soldiers are preparing for a last-ditch defense against the enemy troops. The senator made an impassioned plea on national television last night as a last-ditch defense of the controversial legislation. The experimental high-energy laser weapon could serve as last-ditch defenses against missiles and enemy aircraft.
See also: defense

last-ditch effort

A final effort or attempt to solve a problem or avoid failure or defeat, especially after a series of failures or setbacks. The home team is mounting one last-ditch effort in the final seconds of the game to try to force an overtime showdown. In a last-ditch effort to avoid a government shutdown, congress has pushed forward a new spending bill meant to plug the debt ceiling for another year.
See also: effort

leap to (one's) defense

To begin defending one very quickly or abruptly. I appreciate the thought, but I don't need you leaping to my defense every time someone starts arguing with me. Thankfully, a group of people in the bar leaped to her defense when the man started assaulting her. The boss singled out Jonathan when he started criticizing the progress of the project, so I leaped to his defense.
See also: defense, leap, to

Nuremberg defense

A plea or legal defense strategy in which the defendant claims that their actions were solely the result of carrying out the orders of superiors and that, as such, they should not be found guilty of such actions. Refers to the use of such a defense by political and military leaders of defeated Nazi Germany in the Nuremberg Trials of 1945–46. Against the charge of unlawful murder during wartime, the staff sergeant's defense attorney put forward a Nuremberg defense, claiming that the killings were carried out under direct orders by superior officers.
See also: defense

ostrich defense

A legal strategy in which a defendant claims to be or has been ignorant of one's criminal activities or those being performed by others. A reference to the myth that ostriches put their head in the sand to avoid danger. A: "Why don't I just claim that I never knew it was against the law?" B: "I'm afraid the ostrich defense is about as useful in this situation as having no defense at all." The CEO's lawyers are attempting to use the ostrich defense, claiming that she had no knowledge of her partners' plans to embezzle nearly $45 million.
See also: defense, ostrich

spring to (one's) defense

To begin defending one very quickly or abruptly. I appreciate the thought, but I don't need you springing to my defense every time someone starts arguing with me. Thankfully, a group of people in the bar sprang to her defense when the man started assaulting her. The boss singled out Jonathan when he started criticizing the progress of the project, so I sprang to his defense.
See also: defense, spring, to

the best defense is a good offense

Proactively attacking one's opponents or enemies is the best way to protect oneself, since they will be too occupied with defending themselves to stage an attack of their own. They have a lot of scoring power, so we need to attack the goal early and wear them out. The best defense is a good offense, girls. We'll only be able to secure our borders if we are quick to eradicate any nearby threats with as much force as possible. The best defense is a good offense.
See also: best, defense, good, offense

the best defense is attack

Proactively attacking one's opponents or enemies is the best way to protect oneself, since they will be too occupied with defending themselves to stage an attack of their own. They have a lot of scoring power, so we need to attack the goal early and wear them out. The best defense is attack, girls.
See also: attack, best, defense

the best offense is a good defense

The best way to give oneself the opportunity to succeed is to secure oneself against risk, danger, or one's opponents. An inversion of the standard phrase "the best defense is a good offense." They have a lot of scoring power, so we need to stay strong on our side of the court and wear them out. The best offense is a good defense, girls. Succeeding in the stock market takes prudence, careful planning, and plenty of risk management. As they say, the best offense is a good defense.
See also: best, defense, good, offense

the last line of defense

The final person or thing who can act as a protection or deterrent against some threat. This social welfare payment is the last line of defense for people who have lost their jobs. Our troops are the last line of defense against terrorists in that region. A goalie can't get scared when they see players from the other team bearing down on them—they're the last line of defense!
See also: defense, last, line, of

the noble art (of self-defense)

The sport of boxing. Any two yahoos can get into a fistfight, but it takes real skill, dedication, and training to learn the noble art of self-defense. He spent most of his career training in the noble art before joining the world of mixed martial arts last year.
See also: art, noble
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

best defense is a good offense

Prov. If you attack your opponents, they will be so busy fighting off your attack that they will not be able to attack you. (Often associated with sports. Often pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, similar to offense.) The team mostly practiced offensive moves because the coach believed that the best defense is a good offense. Jim thought that the best defense is a good offense, so he always tried to pass other drivers before they could pass him.
See also: best, defense, good, offense

*last-ditch effort

Fig. a final effort; the last possible attempt. (*Typically: be ~; have ~; make ~.) I made one last-ditch effort to get her to stay. It was a last-ditch effort. I didn't expect it to work.
See also: effort

spring to someone's defense

Fig. to go quickly to defend someone. (Can be against physical or verbal attack.) Fred was attacked and Ralph sprang to his defense. We sprang to Mary's defense when she was accused of doing wrong.
See also: defense, spring, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

last-ditch effort

A desperate final attempt, as in We're making a last-ditch effort to finish on time. This expression alludes to the military sense of last ditch, "the last line of defense." Its figurative use dates from the early 1800s.
See also: effort
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

last-ditch defense/effort

A desperate final measure. In military terminology of the seventeenth century the “last ditch” was the ultimate line of defense. By the eighteenth century the term was being used figuratively, as in Thomas Jefferson’s description, “A government driven to the last ditch by the universal call for liberty.”
See also: defense, effort
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Another change is that in the later plays the strangers frequently come together to support and help each other; they are no longer solitary wanderers, no longer defenselessly exposed to the attacks of the saints (as Blanche, Laura, or Alma were).
The "monsters" with which Emilia "cohabits defenselessly" (357) in Concepcion are the product of social conditioning.
I explained to the parole board that as a result of my hunger strike, I was denied the right to attend my brother's funeral, a privilege enjoyed by all other prisoners in Ohio; I was sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher; I was kicked and punched by prison guards while defenselessly handcuffed and shackled; I was incessantly ridiculed by prison staff; and I received extensive sensory deprivation in solitary confinement.
There is a sequence here that startles with its non-narrative joy in dissemination, from the trees to a cat, to a defenselessly, humorously sleeping anti-hero: "He is good./Let him sleep" (65).
In "Images of Race and Religion in "Like a Prayer,'" Ronald Scott scours the song's video for "the positive social messages imbedded" within it, agonizing over such questions as whether the black character in the piece is actually lying on top of Madonna as she sprawls defenselessly over a pew, an image that may be contaminated with negative stereotypes.
"In few composers and still fewer great composers, has the unity of the life and the music been more blatantly, or more defenselessly, obvious," he writes.